How to Effectively Use Noncompetes in a Tight Labor Market

by Joshua A. Hawks-Ladds
Providence Business News

Attorney Joshua A. Hawks-Ladds, co-chair of Pullman's Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits practice, authored an article for Providence Business News on noncompete agreements, a particularly timely topic in the current tight labor market.

Josh writes that it is important for employers to ensure that their documents are enforceable and comply with current laws and best practices.  "Having an employee sign a noncomplete is one thing; enforcing the restriction is quite another," he says.  "If the employer cannot establish that is has a legitimate business interest that requires protection, then the agreement is not likely to be enforced.  Courts will scrutinize an employer's claimed interest to ensure that it is not merely an attempt to keep its former employee from working for a competitor."

Josh also notes that employees are in a stronger bargaining position now than a few years ago, and are likely to negotiate the terms of a noncompete before they accept a position.

"When property executed, reasonable in scope and put in place to support a legitimate business interest, noncompetes can be effective tools for protecting company interests and retaining talent," he writes.  "In this tight labor market, flexibility, customization and ensuring that the document is legally enforceable can provide an employer with some comfort when it lands its next big hire."

To read the full article, please access it on the Providence Business Journal website.  


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